Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

January 15, 2022

Weekend Reads: The Implications of Germany's Nuclear Shutdowns; Elon Musk's SpaceX Explores Carbon Capture

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

How To Grow U.S. Offshore Wind Power (Clean Technica) The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the release of a report that outlines regional and national strategies to accelerate U.S. offshore wind deployment and operation. The report summarizes the current status of offshore wind in the United States, describes challenges to accelerating its deployment, and identifies strategies to secure United States global leadership in the industry. Implementing the strategies discussed in the report could help the country achieve the interagency goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, which would support 77,000 good paying jobs, catalyze $12 billion per year in capital investments, revitalize ports, cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and unlock a pathway to 110 GW offshore wind by 2050.

Germany Quitting Nuclear Doesn’t Doom the Energy Transition (Bloomberg) The last few months have been a rollercoaster for energy markets in Europe. Even before winter began, traders were freaking out that the continent might run out of natural gas before spring. Some even bought the fuel at 10 times the average price in 2020. In the middle of all that, Germany moved ahead with a plan to shut off nearly 50% of its nuclear power plants, with the rest scheduled to close by the end of 2022. Some asked how a climate-forward country could lay waste to a source of zero-carbon power, especially when there’s a shortage of it. Others pointed out that Germany’s renewables investments are for naught if it has to fill up the nuclear quota using dirty coal.

Webinar: State of Energy Management (Atrius) Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. For the past 3 years, the State of Energy Management report has focused on noting the trends and perspectives within our industry. Built from the perspectives of over 600 leaders in energy, facility, and sustainability roles, this year’s report found increased focus on creating safer spaces, raising awareness of corporate level sustainability initiatives, and leveraging the right tools to streamline data management. In this webinar, we’ll be reviewing key findings from the report with an expert panel. Topics include top priorities for energy and sustainability programs, increased focus on corporate driven awareness of sustainability programs, and why time and money are still big barriers to implementing an EMIS. REGISTER HERE

SpaceX's Elon Musk is going into the carbon capture business (The Hill) SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is Time magazine’s current Person of the Year, is often accused of neglecting problems on Earth in favor of conducting his private space program. The accusation is unfair on a number of levels. After all, Musk also runs an electric car company. Now, the space entrepreneur has announced on Twitter a new initiative that may prove flying into space could also benefit the Earth. “SpaceX is starting a program to take CO2 out of atmosphere & turn it into rocket fuel. Please join if interested,” he tweeted. Human-caused climate change, created by the emission of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is an obsession with many both in government and in the media. Musk’s proposal has interesting implications for the issue and the accusations that he wants to abandon Earth to go live on Mars. The project will not only help alleviate climate change on Earth but will be instrumental to Musk’s desire to build a settlement on Mars.

The latest data on US climate pollution is very bad (Vox) In the first year of the pandemic, as many hunkered down and businesses closed up shop, the planet got a bit of a respite from the unrelenting climate pollution that’s causing global warming. The sudden halt to the economy caused US emissions to plummet by a record 10 percent. But in 2021, Americans got back on the road, crowded onto airplanes again, and ordered even more goods online. And now greenhouse gas emissions are fast approaching pre-pandemic levels. US emissions appear to be rising slightly faster than the economy is growing, according to a new preliminary analysis of federal data published by the energy research and consulting firm Rhodium Group. According to the report, US emissions sharply rose 6.2 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. That’s a little bit faster than GDP growth, which according to Goldman Sachs was 5.7 percent in 2021.

Don’t Just Watch: Team Behind ‘Don’t Look Up’ Urges Climate Action (The New York Times) “Don’t Look Up” is a Hollywood rarity on several fronts. It’s a major film about climate change. It racked up a record number of hours viewed in a single week, according to Netflix. It also unleashed a flood of hot takes, along with — in what may be a first — sniping between reviewers who didn’t like the film and scientists who did. What remains to be seen is whether the film fulfills a primary aim of its director, Adam McKay, who wants it to be, in his words, “a kick in the pants” that prompts urgent action on climate change.  “I’m under no illusions that one film will be the cure to the climate crisis,” Mr. McKay, whose previous films include “The Big Short” and “Vice,” wrote in an email to the Times. “But if it inspires conversation, critical thinking, and makes people less tolerant of inaction from their leaders, then I’d say we accomplished our goal.”

Keywords: Weekend reads

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